AI Initiative Calls for Proposal for its Open Challenge on AI and the News


downloadThe Ethics and Governance of (Artificial intelligence) AI Initiative is calling for submissions of fresh and experimental approaches to addressing four specific problems at the intersection of AI and the news for its open challenge. Up to $750,000 is available for award in the challenge.

The four specific areas the Artificial intelligence Initiative is seeking for proposals are:

  • Governing the Platformswhich ensures that AI serves the public good and requires the public to know how the platforms are deploying these technologies and how they shape the flow of information through the web today.
  • Stopping Bad Actors: The open challenge seeks approaches that can detect and counter this next generation of propaganda. This is because AI might be applied by a variety of actors to spread disinformation, from powering believable bots on social media to fabricating realistic video and audio. This exacerbates a range of existing problems in news and information.
  • Empowering Journalism: The organisers seek ideas that will help bolster the journalism community in its important work and give journalists the tools they need to effectively communicate about AI and its impact. Journalists play a major role in shaping public understanding of AI, its impact on the information ecosystem, and what is required to ensure that technology is used ethically.
  • Reimagining AI and News:  The challenge also welcomes ideas that paint a picture of the future: How might platforms from smartphones and social media sites to search engines and online news outlets be redesigned in part or entirely to better serve the public good?

Everyone, including journalists, designers, technologists, activists, entrepreneurs, artists, lawyers from a variety of communities around the world are eligible to apply for the open challenge. It is also open to individuals with innovations that can address these problems.

The open challenge also allows different kinds of tools that can be used to address these problems. The organisers are able to fund a range of projects, from interesting technological prototypes and research reports to draft legislation and compelling depictions of the future.

Proposals at many different levels of development are of interest to the organisers, but they are most focused on pilot testing new approaches and projects that would otherwise not occur, rather than simply supporting existing programs.

Out of the $750,000 committed to this project, grants in the range of $75,000 to $200,000 will be given out, which will be used to implement a year-long project.

Entry opens from September 12 to October 12, 2018 and applicants are to submit their ideas during this period to win a share of $750,000, which will be awarded in February 2019 to the most compelling teams and projects.

Entries will be reviewed from October to November, 2018 to determine the semi-finalists for the challenge.

Upon reviewing all of the entries, all challenge applicants by November 16, 2018 will be contacted about the status of their submission. Projects selected as semi-finalists will be given instructions on how to provide answers to a series of refinement questions.

A group of finalists will be selected from January 2019 to February 2019

After interviewing the group of finalists, the final group of winners will be selected while all the remaining applicants will be notified of their pending status. Approved winners will be publicly announced at the end of February.

For additional questions, please visit the FAQ page or submit specific questions through the contact form here.

Interested applicants should please visit here to submit an application.

The AI Initiative is a hybrid research effort and philanthropic fund that seeks to ensure that technologies of automation and machine learning are researched, developed, and deployed in a way that vindicates social values of fairness, human autonomy and justice.

 It is supported by the John S. and James L. Knight FoundationOmidyar Network, LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman, and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. The anchor institutions leading the initiative are the MIT Media Lab and the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University.